National Zoo, several Smithsonian museums to reopen in May
WASHINGTON - The Smithsonian announced it will reopen eight of its facilities to the public in May, including the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Zoo, after closing them last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Officials say the reopening plans will begin with the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia on Wednesday, May 5.
Additional museums and the National Zoo will open between Friday, May 14 and Friday, May 21.
The following is the reopening schedule:
Wednesday, May 5 | Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Friday, May 14 | National Museum of African American History and Culture | National Portrait Gallery | Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery
Friday, May 21 | National Museum of American History | National Museum of the American Indian (Washington, D.C., location) | National Zoo
Smithsonian officials say added COVID-19 health and safety measures will be in place at all re-opened locations. They are asking all visitors who are sick or do not feel well stay home. Visitors will need to obtain a free timed-entry pass in advance of their visit and guests will be limited.
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All locations will be implementing safe social distancing, including one-way paths and directional guidance where appropriate. Hand-sanitizing stations will be available and museum cafes will remain closed. Restaurants and food trucks at the National Zoo will be open.
The new hours are as follows:
- The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center will open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- The National Museum of African American History and Culture will be open Wednesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- The Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, both located at Eighth and G streets N.W. will be open Wednesday to Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Visitors will use the G Street entrance.
- The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, near the White House will open Wednesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- The National Museum of American History will open Friday to Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- The National Museum of the American Indian will open Wednesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- The National Zoo will open daily 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Visitors will need to obtain a free timed-entry pass for each location available online at si.edu/visit or by phone at 1-800-514-3849, ext. 1.
Individuals will be able to reserve up to six passes per day for a specific location and each visitor must have a pass, regardless of age, officials say.
Smithsonian's National Zoo officials add that viewing of the Zoo's newest panda cub, Xiao Qi Ji, will be limited for social distancing purposes and will require a separate free timed-entry pass.
The Smithsonian closed its museums in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and again in November after opening briefly opening toward the end of the summer and into the fall.